(For) Crying Out Loud – Who Is Looking After ME?

So, I’m supposed to be the steady, loving, caring, always available bastion for my kids.

The one who gives them space when they need it, but is immediately available should they decide they want to talk. The one who never shouts at them, but doesn’t turn a hair when they yell ‘I hate you!’ at me. The one who understands how hard it is to be a toddler/pre-schooler/primary-schooler/secondary-schooler/tween/teen/kid-in-general.

The one who teaches them meditation techniques to release stress, makes sure they don’t get high on sugary stuff and regulates their screen time, as they really cannot be expected to put that bl**dy tablet down by themselves.

The one who makes sure they do their homework / revision / project / piano practice, and teaches them responsibility by involving them in housework, all the while not overwhelming them with too much to do, of course. The one who organises their social life while they are little, and stays the hell out if it the moment they hit 12, but makes sure they do not get involved with the wrong people.

The one who ferries them to clubs and playdates and parties and outings and sleepovers and whatnot. The one who, while never actually snooping, still knows where they are, what they are doing and if they are all right – physically, mentally, emotionally, behaviourally, psychologically, physiologically, virtually, literally, and, of course, socially.

The one who looks after them in every sense of the word, and, armed with the latest results in psychology and parenting techniques, does it RIGHT. Oh, it’s okay to make a mistake every now and then. After all, I only need to be a ‘good enough’ mum. Of course, doing it ‘wrong’ regularly (say, shouting at them once a week or month or year) is a big no-no. It hurts them, makes them feel bad, inferior and worthless, and 20 years down the line their psychologist will tell them it’s all my fault (whatever ‘it’ is).

I see how it is bad, d*mn you! But tell me: who is going to do all the above for me? WHO IS LOOKING AFTER ME?! Who teaches me all those meditation techniques, who understands how hard it is to be a mother/wife/housekeeper/tutor/family-PA/BFF/nanny/nurse/all-round-trouble-shooter ALL THE F*CKING TIME?! Who picks up the balls I drop? Who makes sure I am not overwhelmed (by how I should be doing everything, among other things)?

That they will still grow up to be happy and decent people. They will still learn to read and write, and they will still learn to care for themselves and others. They will still learn to release their stress and frustration in socially acceptable ways. That they will be okay. Is that too much to ask?


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Rachel Millington is a mum of two. In her spare time, she works in PR, hanging out with people who are all a good 10 years younger and a lot more glamorous than her, which is terribly good for the self-esteem. She also volunteers for Mind & MumsAid, because she very definitely believes that maternal mental health matters. She can be found tweeting (/ranting about politics) @rachmillington and is also charting her absolute hatred and despair of the weaning process on instagram @mummyledweaning (whoever said it was easier second time around LIED).